479 NEWS

Doug Collins Requests Financial Relief for Georgia’s Film Industry

US Representative Doug Collins Advocates for Georgia Film Industry

United States Representative Doug Collins has written a letter of support for our industry to the Speaker of the House, encouraging Congress to pursue financial relief for entertainment workers affected by the pause in production due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Freelancers, contractors, gig workers and the entertainment industry make significant contributions to our communities and economy here in Georgia. As Congress considers relief for American workers, I’m hopeful these folks will be offered similar protections as other industries.”

Doug Collins, United States House of Representatives

As the International IATSE notes, Doug has been a champion for the entertainment industry in Georgia, and we thank him for joining the dozens of congresspeople on both sides of the aisle fighting to make sure congress doesn’t leave IATSE members behind.

Below is the full text of Representative Collins’ letter to the Speaker of the House:

Dear Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader McCarthy:

As we move closer to House consideration of a third coronavirus aid package, I write to request the inclusion of protections for free lancers, contractors, gig workers, and workers in the entertainment industry who are uniquely affected by the ongoing coronavirus outbreak . Georgia is home to a flourishing entertainment industry that has injected billions into the state’s economy.  This industry, among others, is supported by workers that might not see significant relief out of the coronavirus aid packages recently signed into law.  Like many others, these folks need assistance to come out on the other side of the disruption caused by the coronavirus, and I am hopeful that we can work together to offer protections for them during this time.

Freelancers, contractors, and gig workers depend on opportunities from many different sources to maintain income throughout the year.  Further, workers in our nation’s entertainment industry depend on ongoing productions for work throughout the year. From journalists to workers in film and television production, these individuals provide work that is valuable to our communities and economy. It is vital that we consider the particular needs of these individuals during the coronavirus outbreak. Specifically, many in these industries lack the resources offered to others through larger employers . At a time where many are taking advantage of employer policies that provide for paid leave and unemployment protections, these workers are, unfortunately, left with limited or no relief.

In my home state of Georgia, the blossoming entertainment industry has injected more than $10 billion into the state’s economy and generated $9.2 billion in total wages for over 92,000 employees in the state in 2019 . Without relief, many of these Georgians will face financial uncertainty as their opportunities for work are cancelled, postponed, or withdrawn, as thousands of entertainment industry workers in Georgia have faced over the last week .

Folks in the communities I serve are understandably concerned about what comes next. Small businesses, individuals that are self-employed, and families are making tough decisions to help reduce the spread of coronavirus in their communities. It is our responsibility, as their elected officials, to make tough decisions to help them – and the rest of the country – overcome this viral outbreak.

I hope to see relief for American workers in the entertainment industry, freelancing, contracting, and the gig economy in the upcoming aid package so that these individuals can take advantage of similar protections being offered to workers across the country in other industries.

Doug Collins
Member of Congress